The all-time greats in the US Masters golf tournament

The US Masters golf championship (masters.com) has an atmosphere all of its own, not unconnected with the air of Southern gentility that surrounds the Augusta club. It is arguably more prestigious than the US Open, and has been won by some of the world's greatest golfers since the tournament began in 1934. We picked 5 of the best.

1. Tiger Woods has won the Masters 4 times, in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005. His first title was won, by 12 clear shots, at the age of 21,  just 7 years after Augusta admitted its first black member. He will hope that he still has the game to win there again.

2. Jack Nicklaus is the record-holder with 6 titles, with a remarkable 23 years between his first title in 1963 and his last in 1986. He is the Masters master, undoubtedly, his era characterised by his rivalry with the next player on the list.

3. Arnold Palmer secured 4 Masters titles in the late 50s and early 60s. He and Nicklaus have been the honorary co-starters at the last 2 tournaments.

4. Nick Faldo is the most successful European at the Masters with 3 titles, in 1989, 1990 and 1996, the last of them memorable for Faldo's stunning last round comeback to overhaul Greg Norman.

5. The late great Severiano Ballesteros secured his love affair with the American golfing public with 2 Masters golf victories in 1980 and 1983. Those wins introduced America to the man who was to mastermind's Europe's resurgence in the Ryder Cup.

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